Homemade Pecan Turtles

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles - You'll be surprised how easy it is to make these delicious treats!

Chocolate, caramel, pecans… each delicious on their own, but even better together!

These Homemade Pecan Turtles are surprisingly easy to make are so perfect to share around the holidays!  Just be sure to keep a few for yourself! =)

This recipe takes a bit of a shortcut by starting with store bought caramels… but that can be our little secret!

The finished turtles are a perfect combination of textures and flavors… crunchy, chewy, sweet… and bit of sea salt rounds everything out.

Your friends and family will love these cute and delicious little treats!

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles - These are SO good!!

 

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Let’s get started!

Gather your ingredients (listed in the recipe below).

Spoon a small amount of chocolate onto a parchment paper lined, or Silpat lined baking sheet (pictured below).

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Arrange pecan halves like a flower, or to create the head and four legs of a turtle.

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Spoon caramel into the center of the pecans.

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Add chocolate on top, spreading with the back of a spoon as needed.  Add a modest sprinkling of sea salt.

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

 

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Pecan Turtles

Starting with pre-made caramels helps these delicious Pecan Turtles come together quickly!

Ingredients:

2 cups pecan halves
11 oz. bag of wrapped caramels
2 Tablespoons heavy cream (milk or water may be used)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt (Fleur de sel or similar if available)

Directions:

1. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 375*F about 5 minutes, until warm and fragrant. Cool and set aside.

2. Unwrap caramels and place caramels, cream and vanilla in the top of a double boiler and heat until the caramels have melted (this will take a while). Stir as needed.

3. While the caramel melts, heat the chocolate chips in another double boiler, or in the microwave at 50% power in 30 second intervals. Stir between intervals and stop cooking when the chips have almost melted, but not fully. Be careful not to over heat the chocolate, it can easily burn. Stir chips until smooth and fully melted.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner. Spoon a small amount of chocolate onto the baking sheet, using the back of the spoon to smooth it into a small circle (about 2" diameter). After you've made 3-4 circles, arrange 5 pecan halves on to of chocolate, creating the "turtle" head and four legs (as pictured), or a flower. Continue making circles of chocolate, then adding pecans until the baking sheet is full (I usually fit 6-10 on a baking sheet). Set entire baking sheet in the fridge for a few minutes, until the chocolate has set up a bit.

5. Once the chocolate has set, (remove from fridge) and add about a teaspoon or two of melted caramel onto the center of the pecans (as pictured). The caramel should be just melted enough that it will fall off a spoon, but not so liquid that it just rolls right off the pecans into a puddle. If the caramel is too thin, remove from heat and allow to cool just a bit. Once caramel has been added to each turtle, place baking sheet back into the fridge for a few minutes.

6. When the caramel has set up just a bit, spoon a bit of chocolate on top, covering as much of the caramel as possible. If desired, add a bit of fleur de sel sea salt on top.

7. Place turtles back in the fridge for just a few minutes to set up.

8. When fully cool and set, remove from baking sheet and store in an airtight container at room temperature. See notes below about shelf life.

Recipe Source - Glorious Treats

Notes -
The ingredient measurements listed in the recipe above are just what I used, but really could vary according to how many turtles you want to make. Basically you need nuts, chocolate, caramels and a bit of cream.

Chose good quality caramels, stay away from generic brands for this project. I usually use Brach's or Kraft. I have not tried the unwrapped caramel bits for this project, but I imagine they would work perfectly well.

If you do not temper the chocolate, the finished turtles should be enjoyed within 2-3 days or the chocolate will begin to discolor. If you temper the chocolate before use, the turtles will remain beautiful for much longer (I've never kept them more than a week, but I would imagine they could be kept longer).

For the most professional results, and for the longest shelf life, I recommend tempering the chocolate.  I’ve been intimidated for years by the idea of tempering chocolate, because it is quite a precise process.  I’ve made these pecan turtles many times in years past, but this is the first time I attempted to properly temper the chocolate.  The extra time was well worth it, and I loved the shiny, professional quality of the finished turtles.  If you’re going to try tempering chocolate I highly recommend a precise thermometer, such as a Thermapen.  Additionally, I found the tutorials by David Lebovitz and Handle the Heat very helpful.

Easy homemade Pecan Turtles

Easy Homemade Pecan Turtles - These are SO good!!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

These Chocolate Sugar Cookies are simple, yet delicious!  They’re rich, chewy, and perfect for satisfying a chocolate craving!

Of course most delicious desserts start with butter, and for these cookies I’ve teamed up with Challenge Dairy as part of their 12 Christmas Cookies Countdown.

Hop on over to find the recipe for these chocolaty cookies on ChallengeDairy.com

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Looking for a few more holiday cookies ideas?  I’ve got you covered!

Hot Cocoa Cookies - The most popular cookies of all time on my site, and for good reason!

Gingerbread Cookies – Perfect for classic cut-out gingerbread boys and girls… or any festive shape!

Chewy Ginger Molasses – Sweet, spicy, chewy and oh so delicious!

What’s your favorite Christmas cookie?

Chocolate Biscotti {and a giveaway!}

Double Chocolate Biscotti - Rich and flavorful with the perfect amount of crunch!  So delicious with coffee or hot cocoa!

This Chocolate Biscotti recipe is rich and flavorful with just the perfect texture… not too hard or dry.

I’ve never been a big fan of biscotti.  I usually like soft and chewy cookies… if you haven’t noticed from the fact that most of my cookie recipes have the word “chewy” in them!  In my experience, biscotti is usually hard, dry and pretty tasteless.  Granted, the only biscotti I’ve ever had has been pre-packaged from a store… so I thought experimenting with homemade biscotti might be worth a try.

I’m happy to say, this Chocolate Biscotti won me over!  The recipe is packed with chocolate flavor, and you can adjust the baking time to your preferences… I baked mine so they were crisp, but not too hard (if you want them extra crisp, feel free to add a few minutes of baking time).  They are absolutely delicious with coffee, milk, or hot chocolate.

I was inspired to create this recipe when Pampered Chef asked me to create a homemade treat perfect for holiday parties or homemade gifts.  I love Pampered Chef, and love making homemade treats… so it was an easy task!

This Chocolate Biscotti would be a perfect treat to wrap and give as a gift with a pretty mug and maybe a coffee shop gift card!  Or wrap up some biscotti and make a beautiful gift for a baker on your list with the Pampered Chef Batter Bowl, a festive spatula and some good quality wooden spoons or dish towels.

Chocolate Biscotti Recipe

I have a little confession… I actually ordered the Pampered Chef Batter Bowl (shown above) as a gift for someone on my Christmas list, but I fell in love with it and now plan to keep it for myself!  My advice… order two!

Chocolate Biscotti Recipe

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Chocolate Biscotti

Rich and flavorful Chocolate Biscotti with just the right amount of texture... not too hard or dry. Dress it up by dipping in chocolate and topping with toffee.

Yield: About 24 large pieces

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sliced or chopped almonds, toasted
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Spread sliced (or chopped) almonds onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl on an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth, then add sugar, and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, while blending. Add extracts.
4. While slowly blending, pour in bowl of dry ingredients, then almonds and chocolate chips. Blend just until combined.
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Divide the dough in half. On a very lightly floured surface, roll the dough into two logs, almost the length of the baking sheet.
6. Transfer logs to the baking sheet, leaving space between the two. Gently flatten the logs down (with your hands) until the dough is about 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" tall. You should now have two rounded rectangles. They do not have to be perfect, but try to make sure the ends of the logs are almost as thick as the middle.
7. Bake logs for 25 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool (on the baking sheet) for about 15 minutes.
8. Gently transfer the baked logs to a cutting board and use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the logs into thick slices (about 3/4 inch thick). Lay the cookies, cut side down, onto a baking sheets (you'll need two this time) and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Bake one sheet at a time.
9. Allow cookies to cool, then store in an airtight container up to two weeks. If desired, dip cooled cookies into chocolate and dress with toffee bits.

Recipe Source - Several adjustments made from an original recipe by David Lebovitz.

Notes - After the first run in the oven, my baked logs had quite a few cracks on the top. Don't worry about this, after the logs are cut into slices there is no problem with the cracks.

Double Chocolate Biscotti - Rich and flavorful with the perfect amount of crunch!  So delicious with coffee or hot cocoa!

I made this Chocolate Biscotti three ways… plain (with almonds, as listed in the recipe), chocolate dipped, and chocolate dipped with crushed toffee pieces (available in stores, sold next to chocolate chips).  Feel free to mix and match however you’d like to dress up your biscotti.  A little drizzle of white chocolate would provide a pretty contrast to the dark biscotti.

Double Chocolate Biscotti - Rich and flavorful with the perfect amount of crunch!  So delicious with coffee or hot cocoa!

In addition to this delicious biscotti, I have another treat for you today!

My friends at Pampered Chef are giving a $150 Pampered Chef shopping credit to one lucky Glorious Treats reader!  You can pick out your own gifts this year!  =)

To enter…

Simply leave a comment below with what you love to make for homemade gifts… or what kind of homemade gifts you love to receive.

 

Giveaway details -  Giveaway open to U.S residents 18 years and older.  Giveaway ends Friday, Dec. 19th at 9:00pm Pacific.  Winner will be chosen at random.  If a winner is chosen but does not reply to their e-mail within 48 hours, another winner may be chosen.  Giveaway sponsored by Pampered Chef.

Discloure – I have been compensated by Pampered Chef with products and/or payment for my time creating this post.  All images, text and opinions are my own.  I only work with brand I use and love.

360 Bakeware {Giveaway!}

Gorgeous Stainless Steel Bakeware {Giveaway}!

Happy baking season!  This is such a special time of year for baking, and giving… and today I’m doing some giving, so you can do lots of baking!

I’ve teamed up with 360 Bakeware and some of my favorite bloggers to bring you a giveaway for a gorgeous collection of high quality stainless steel bakeware!

Using high quality tools in the kitchen is the building block for successful baking!  Over the years, I’ve made it a priority to purchase the best quality tools and equipment I can.  I really believe that using good quality tools helps ensure success in the kitchen.  Recipes will be more reliable, and the end results are often more professional when you use the best tools for the job.

I recently discovered (and got to use!) 360 Bakeware and was really blown away by the quality!  These are pans I know I’ll be able to use for many, many years!

I “broke in” one of my new pans over Thanksgiving week and was so pleased with the results!  I shared an image of my results on Instagram.

Don’t my Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars look good in that gorgeous pan?

Are you ready to win?  One lucky reader will get this amazing collection…

2 Large Cookie Sheets
2 Round Cake Pans
1 Pie Pan
1 9” x 13” Bake and Roast Pan
1 Small Cookie Sheet
1 Loaf Pan
1 Jelly Roll Pan

A total value of $800.00!!!

Enter using the form below (e-mail readers will need to be viewing this post on-line)

 
rel="nofollow">360 Bakeware Set Giveaway

I’m so happy to have partnered on this giveaway with 360 Bakeware and this amazing group of bloggers…

My Baking Addiction
The Little Kitchen
Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
Food Fanatic
Cookies & Cups
The Baker Mama
Dine and Dish
Buns In My Oven

If you’re not already following their sites, be sure to hop on over and discover lots of beautiful and delicious ideas!

Disclosure- This giveaway is being sponsored by 360 Cookware.  It is not affiliated with Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter.  I am very selective about the brands I promote and only work with brands I use and love.

Rocky Road Fudge

Rocky Road Fudge - Rich, creamy and oh so delicious!

The holiday season calls for extra special treats… and this Rocky Road Fudge fits the bill!

Smooth, creamy chocolate fudge is a pretty amazing treat on it’s own… but when you add marshmallows and nuts it’s taken to the next level!

This recipe makes a very large batch of fudge, so it’s perfect for gift giving!  You can package it up for friends and family, and still have some left over for yourself!  =)

In my opinion, good fudge has a few specific qualities… it should be smooth and creamy (yet still hold it’s shape), and although fudge by nature is very sweet, good fudge should have a balanced flavor, not simply knock you over with sweetness.  This Rocky Road Fudge recipe fulfills all of my requirements for perfect fudge!

Rocky Road Fudge - Rich, creamy and oh so delicious!

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Rocky Road Fudge

Rich, creamy chocolate fudge gets dressed up with marshmallows and nuts.

Yield: 1- 9"x13" pan (about 96 pieces)

Ingredients:

2 cups roughly chopped walnuts
4 cups mini marshmallows
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1- 12oz. can evaporated milk
1- 7.5 oz jar marshmallow fluff
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2- 12oz bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (chopped)

Directions:

1. Toast nuts by spreading on a baking sheet and baking at 375*F for 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
2. Spread mini marshmallows onto a baking sheet an place in freezer while fudge is being prepared.
3. Prepare a 9"x13" pan by lining with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges a bit, so you can use that to pull the fudge out of the pan later.
4. In a large pot (I used my Le Creuset French Oven), combine sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches a boil, then reduce the heat a bit and simmer, while stirring almost constantly, until mixture registers 234*F. This may take 10-15 minutes, or more.
5. As soon as the mixture reaches 234*F. remove pan from the heat and stir in nuts (reserve a few for the top of the fudge, if desired), marshmallow fluff, vanilla and salt. Stir, to fully incorporate marshmallow fluff, and allow mixture to slowly cool.
6. When the mixture has cooled to 160*F (this may take 15 minutes or more), add chocolate, covering fully with warm mixture to help the chocolate melt. Allow the chocolate to melt on it's own a few minutes, then stir until chocolate is fully melted and well combined.
7. When the chocolate has been fully incorporated, add frozen marshmallows and stir to even distribute. Reserve a few for topping the fudge, if desired.
8. Spread fudge into prepared pan, and spread with spatula as best as possible. Top with a piece of plastic wrap, then use your hands to level out as smooth as possible. Remove plastic wrap and cool fudge in the refrigerator at least 4 hours.
9. To cut fudge, lift up on parchment paper overhang, and move to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into small squares. As needed, run the knife in warm water, then wipe dry between cuts.

Fudge may be store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. Fudge is best when served at room temperature.

Recipe source - Glorious Treats, adjusted from America's Test Kitchen.

Notes-
Choose good quality chocolate and chocolate chips. I used Ghirardelli.

In order to ensure consistent recipe success, a candy thermometer is required.

Do not add chocolate until the sugar mixture cools to 160*F, or the chocolate may separate.

For consistent results, this recipe does require a candy thermometer.  You can purchase a candy thermometer at most any kitchen supply store, including Wal-Mart or Target.  Last year I upgraded to a Thermapen thermometer and if you make candy even a couple times a year I would highly recommend investing in a Thermapen!

Happy holiday treat making!